Pregnancy is a wonderful experience that can bring wanted joy to a family, but unfortunately it’s often accompanied by unwanted changes to the body. These changes develop in response to shifts in hormones during the pregnancy period. During pregnancy, the body stretches and grows to accommodate an ever growing belly and the baby’s needs. Once the baby is born and milk production is complete, some changes may reverse themselves, but many post-pregnancy changes remain.
The key to a most corrective result is customization and precision. Listening to a patient’s goals, performing a proper exam, and putting together a plan that best obtains those goals will ultimately result in the most consistent results. Treatment can begin as early as three months after giving birth, but most typically will start on or after six months to insure that the body reaches as much correction as it can on its own. Often, more than one of the following procedures are performed, and Dr. Cross’s goal is to achieve as much as is necessary with just one surgical experience. While almost all patients can be treated in one stage, Dr. Cross always follows one principle: safety comes first. He will never allow a patient to do more than they can tolerate or more than is safe. In those cases, a multi-staged approach is planned.
Breasts may increase or decrease in volume depending on the patient. After pregnancy, the majority of women experience saggy, lax skin on and around the breast area. This is a result of changes to ligaments known as Cooper’s ligaments. Cooper’s ligaments extend from the collar bone down and support the breast from within. They determine and maintain breast shape. Loss of breast shape after pregnancy results from these ligaments becoming irrecoverably stretched. When this happens, your breast’s natural shape is lost and they begin to sag. Unfortunately, there is no exercise or diet regimen that will alter these changes.
Fortunately, well performed breast lift and augmentation procedures effectively reverse and correct post-pregnancy changes. These procedures are quite common and may be able to be performed in conjunction with other “mommy makeover” procedures. Based on a patient’s anatomy and goals, as a team, the patient and Dr. Cross will together determine whether a reduction and lift, just a lift, an augmentation, or a lift with an augmentation is required.
In addition to traditional procedures, we implement advanced techniques which include extracting unwanted fat from other regions of the body and injecting it into the breasts, providing completely natural breast enhancement. Details on breast lifting, breast augmentation, and breast reduction can be found through by clicking the link.
Patient showing the result of a breast lift with a small amount of fat grafting to help improve the shape of the upper region of the breast. * Results May Vary
As the abdomen stretches to accommodate an enlarging uterus the skin and tissue encompassing the stomach muscle also expand. While natural elasticity in these tissues allow some resolution of the stretching after pregnancy, damage to the elastin in the tissues makes complete correction impossible. As a result, women are left with loose skin, stretch marks, and widening of the “six pack” muscles. Referred to as “rectus diastasis”, this widening prevents a woman from achieving a flat stomach after pregnancy, even if their muscles are stronger than they were prior to having children. Each of these issues in the abdominal region can be addressed through various combinations of procedures.
Before and after demonstrating the amount of flattening of the abdomen that can be achieved with a tummy tuck procedure. *Results May Vary
An office discussion will help define which options will provide the maximum benefit with the least invasive measures and the fastest recovery time. Dr. Cross now performs “drainless” tummy tucks for appropriate candidates. To learn more about tummy tuck and drainless tummy tuck procedures, click on the included link.
Body Contouring Through Liposuction
Depending on your physique, your body goes through a variety of changes throughout pregnancy. Many women gain a large amount of weight which stretches the skin and deposits pockets of fat in stubborn areas of the body. There are many liposuction techniques available to treat these areas. Dr. Cross has literally written the text book chapter on liposuction and uses many of the available techniques. An exam and discussion will help patients understand which technique is best for them. Click here to learn more.
Thigh/Buttock/Lower Body Lift
During pregnancy, your weight tends to fluctuate quite a bit, causing the midsection and buttock region to lose its natural shape. A variety of options exist to lift and tighten sagging skin, to create a “perkiness” to the features of the thigh and buttock region, and to augment deflated regions. Information can be found on this link.
This page and its contents have been reviewed for accuracy and approved by board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Kevin Cross